"...be careful to obey them..." Deuteronomy 26: 16b
There is an eternal promise guaranteed from heaven's throne for those who keep God's way. In my book, "Freedom's Foundation", I outline the Decalogue and a benefit from following each command:
God is the one true God – no other gods = no confusion.
God will not share His glory to a man-made idol - ditto.
God wants us to respect His name – teaches respect.
God designed a Sabbath rest for man to rest – we all need it.
God promises a longer life when we honor our parents.
God prohibits the taking of human life – establishing the sanctity of life.
God prohibits adultery – protecting individuals, marriages, and families.
God prohibits stealing – ensuring integrity in business and security of one’s belongings.
God prohibits making false statements against others – preserving personal reputations.
God wants us to be content with our life – things work better.
The Ten Commandments point to the coming King, the Promised One, Who was prophesied as early as the creation account (read Genesis 3:15). Jesus answered the queries of the Pharisees by recognizing the first commandment when He described the greatest commandment (read Luke 10:25-28).
In pointing to the first commandment, Jesus guarded the integrity of where God's name rests (in Jerusalem, read Deuteronomy 12:11) when He cleansed the temple (read Matthew 21:13). When we pray, we pray to God, without the distraction of money or manmade rules. The money changers sold animals to be presented for sacrifice as a redemption for the sins of those who purchased them. Jesus detested the practice to show God's disdain for their erroneous thinking: that there is an action we can do to absolve our own sin before God. They did not raise the animal. It was a sacrifice of convenience... devised to circumvent God's original intent. It became a form of idolatry as the money changers profited on the guilt of unsuspecting souls. (read Colossians 3:5)
Jesus pointed to the second commandment through His teaching: "Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father." (John 14:9) He was referring to the persistent need of seekers to worship what they see. In fact, he confronted such thought when he refuted the Samaritan woman's statement (read John 4:21-24), declaring God was spirit and those who worship Him do so in the spirit and in truth.
Jesus pointed to the third commandment when He used the well known description of God's name as a description of Himself. Seven times He referred to "I am..." (seven is significant number in the Hebrew language, signifying completion; read John 6:35; 8:12; 10:9, 11; 11:25; 14:6; 15:1). He also modeled reverence for God's name as He taught the disciples to pray, "...hallowed be Thy name..." (read Matthew 6:9).
In describing the function of the fourth commandment, the Savior pointed to the Sabbath rest for man when He described that the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath (read Mark 2:27).
Jesus pointed to the fifth commandment of honoring one's parents when He honored His mother by arranging for her care after His death on the cross (read John 19:26-27).
The Savior pointed to the sixth commandment by His actions on the Mount of Olives when He intervened on the soldier's behalf, even immediately healing his ear which a disciple had cut off. Jesus took steps to prevent any lives being taken from any action by His disciples (read Matthew 26:51-52).
Jesus exposed the lie of adultery, the prohibition of the seventh commandment, when He offered forgiveness to the woman at the well, exposing her adulterous ways while offering her forgiveness and peace (read John 4:1-26).
The Messiah revealed the corruption of the heart found in the eighth commandment when He offered forgiveness and peace to the thief on the cross (read Mark 15:28; Luke 23:39-43).
Jesus' life pointed to the ninth commandment when He answered the inquiry by John the Baptist. Jesus confirmed to John the Baptist that He was, indeed, the Messiah when He intimated the words of Isaiah 35:5-6 (read Matthew 11:2-5).
Finally, Jesus provided clarity of the tenth commandment in the sermon on the mount. He taught that each day would take care of itself when we are seeking God's Kingdom first (read Matthew 6:25-34).
Be careful to obey all of God's commandments. Jesus said, "...if you love me, you will keep my commandments." (John 14:15; also see John 15:10) His commandment are given to bless a life, a family, a community, and a nation. The writer of todays 5UW goes on to write:
"You have declared today that the Lord is your God. And you have promised to walk in His ways, and to do everything He tells you. The Lord has declared today that you are His people, His own special treasure, just as He promised, and that you must obey all His commands. And if you do, He will set you high above all the other nations He has made. Then you will receive praise, honor, and renown. You will be a nation that is holy to the Lord your God, just as He promised." (Deuteronomy 26:17-19)
Did you notice the five simple words, "...He will set you high..." (v.19)? When we follow God's way, God designed the natural result as having a higher perspective (more wisdom), a higher standard (seeking excellence in our work), and a higher regard for others (treating others the way we would like them to treat us).
Let's be careful to obey them,